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Work experience

Apr 2009Present


Diane Frank Consulting

·Strategic analysis and execution of advanced microscopic assays, toxicity and activity studies for drug development programs.

·Provide consulting expertise in the areas of epithelial biology, RNAi technologies, nasal drug delivery.

Sep 2008Apr 2009

Independent Consultant

PhaseRx, Inc

·      Delivered novel quantitative live-cell fluorescence and electron microscope assays; determined subcellular targeting and processing of RNAi drug products.

·      Prepared proposals for solutions for toxicity and activity problems for RNAi drug development programs.


Director, Cell Biology


·Responsible for hiring and managing group of 12 scientists and research associates with a budget of over $1 million for 2007.

·Successfully directed the discovery and development through preclinical stages of 3 novel drug permeation enhancer molecules.

·Managed projects that characterize and reduced inflammation responses to nasal and RNAi drug formulations.

·Met milestones and completed on time a partnered nasal formulation development project for a 56 kDa blood coagulation protein.

·Submitted 3 patent applications

·Published 3 book chapters, 1 original research paper (in preparation).

Responsibilities included:

·Lead Scientist on projects to develop formulations for nasal delivery of peptide/protein drugs.

·In vitro characterization, activity and toxicity functions for RNAi therapeutic drug development.

·Design, analysis of in vivo studies for nasal delivery and toxicity in rabbit and rat models

·Design, analysis of in vivo mouse models for RNAi therapeutic programs.

·Assay development for Tight Junction Biology and RNAi research and development programs including high-throughput assay design and robotics, in vitro toxicity and activity assays, inflammation, cytokine and signaling pathway assays.

·      Developed and managed microscope imaging resources.

·      Delivered internal and external scientific presentations.


Staff Scientist

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Research focused on epithelial wound activation and cancer progression in human, mouse and zebrafish genetics/development model systems.  Major projects included:

·      Developed innovative model for epithelial cell migration that demonstrated deposition of a cell’s own extracellular matrix can regulate its stable polarization and migration.

·      Characterized the activation of innate immunity in keratinocytes through GP140/CDCP1 receptor-mediated endocytosis.

·      Developed an innovative, high-throughput proteomic screen of anti-human and anti-zebrafish antibody libraries and developed various in situ wound models in zebrafish at different developmental stages.



Minnesota State University
Aug 1990Nov 1995


University of Wisconsin-Madison

Benchmark work described how global protein conformational changes induced by binding to specific DNA sequences allow regulatory proteins to greatly increase DNA specificity.


·      Director-level scientist specializing in driving innovative research in the areas of epithelial biology, cancer biology, wound healing, RNAi, antibody development, cell signaling pathways and drug development and delivery.

·      Successful track record of transitioning drug development from discovery into preclinical development.

·      Excels in building and managing cross-functional teams, leadership in a collaborative environment.

Professional Associations

              American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS)

Controlled Release Society (CRS)

Association for Women in Science (AWIS)

American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

American Society of Cell Biology (ASCB)

Short Courses

·      “Regulatory Aspects of Pharmaceutical Sciences”, Workshop, July 2008, Controlled Release Society Meeting.

·      “Strategies to Advance the Bioavailability of Low Solubility Drugs”, Workshop, July 12-13 2008, Controlled Release Society Meeting.

·      “Understanding Good Cell Culture Practices, GCCP, in Nonclinical In Vitro Safety Studies”, Compliance Online Training, July 2008.

·      “Workshop on Quantitative Pharmacology:  A Roadmap for Rational, Model-based Drug Development”, American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists, Nov. 2007.

·      “Short Course on Challenges in Developing Biologics:  Industry and Regulatory Expectations”, American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists, Nov. 2007.

·      “From the Laboratory to Leadership:  Developing Scientific Managers”, Washington Biotechnology and Biomedical Association, Fall 2006.

Selected Publications

Nguyen, P, Meadows, S, Fam, R, Thomson, A, Salino, T, Farber, K, Brown, T, Houston, M, Costantino, R, Quay, S and DE Frank.  Intranasal Delivery of Monomeric Insulin Using a Novel Amphilphilic Permeation Enhancer.  Manuscript in preparation.

Costantino, HR, Sileno, AP, Templin, M, Li, R, Frank, D, Brandt, GC and SC Quay. Pharmacokinetic and Pharmacodynamic aspects of intranasal delivery.  Proteins and Peptides:  Pharmacokinetic, Pharmacodynamic and Metabolic Outcomes.  Book editors:  R. Mrsny and A. Daugherty.  In Press.

Johnson, PH, Frank, D and HR Costantino.  Discovery of Tight Junction Modulators:  Significance for Drug Development and Delivery.  Drug Discovery Today 13, 261-267 (2008).

Webb, AE, Sanderford, J, Frank, D, Talbot, WS, Driever, W and D Kimelman.  Laminin a5 is essential for the formation of the zebrafish fins.  Dev Biol 311, 369-382 (2007).

Frank, DE, and WG Carter, Laminin 5 deposition regulates keratinocyte polarization and persistent migration.  J. Cell Sci 117, 1351-1363 (2004).

Yu,H, Frank, DE, Zhang, J, You, X, Carter, WG, and BS Knudsen.  Basal Prostate Epithelial Cells Stimulate the Migration of Prostate Cancer Cells.  Mol Carcinogen 41, 85-97 (2004).

Frank, DE, Saecker, RS, Bond, JP, Capp, MW, Tsodikov, OV, Melcher, SE, Levandoski, MM and MT Record, Jr.  Thermodynamics of the Interactions of Lac Repressor with Variants of the Symmetric Lac Operator:  Effects of Converting a Consensus Site to a Non-specific Site.  J. Mol. Biol. 267, 1186-1206 (1997).

Technical Expertise

Cell and Molecular Biology

  • Toxicity, cytokine induction, signaling pathway analysis, receptor trafficking, protein biochemistry (western blotting, ELISA, purification), recombinant protein expression, molecular biology techniques, flow cytometry, PCR, RNAi, DNA microarrays, DOE and statistical analysis of large data sets.
  • Primary cell culture, cell line culture and generation, tissue organ culture.


  • Expert in fluorescence and light microscopy, quantitative image analysis, motion analysis microscopy, optical trapping/laser tweezers, electron microscopy.

Antibody Technologies 

  • Development and screening of mouse anti- human and zebrafish monoclonal antibodies libraries
  • Antibody characterization by mass spectrometry, biochemical and cellular assays.

Animal Model systems

  • Rabbit, rat, mouse and zebrafish animal models for nasal drug delivery, toxicity, RNAi, diabetes, RA, wound healing, tumor progression.